The NASCAR Cup Series made their second trip to the Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway this weekend.
Qualifying 29th in the No. 38 Frontline Enterprises Inc. Ford Mustang, Todd Gilliland was ready for the 267-lap event. Battling handling issues early in stage one, Gilliland managed to find himself in the top-5 after a round of pit stops cycled him up front. Gilliland rolled the dice and pitted from P4 for tires and fuel halfway through the stage. A lap down, Gilliland fought hard until a caution for Erik Jones gave him the chance to wave around and get back on the lead lap. Gilliland finished stage one 31st.
Starting stage two on fresh tires and topped off on fuel, Gilliland and the 38 showed improvement from stage one and competed in the top-25 throughout stage two. Gilliland finished stage two 26th.
Once again starting the stage on fresh tires and full on fuel, Gilliland and the team stayed out of the wrecks to finish the race 26th.
Rolling off 18th in the Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang, Michael McDowell and the 34 team were ready to continue their points battle with fellow competitors Joey Logano, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Kevin Harvick. Battling dirty air throughout stage one, McDowell was still able to compete in the top-15 and top-20. As the track temperatures rose, McDowell’s Ford Mustang became looser. Pitting for right-side tires only, McDowell was shuffled back to 20th where he finished stage one.
A trip to pit road for four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment to tighten up a loose race car, McDowell picked up where he left off to start stage two. McDowell held a steady pace in the top-20 throughout the second stage. He finished the stage 21st.
Pitting under the stage-break caution, McDowell and the Love’s Travel Stops team elected to take right-side tires only to gain track position and start the final stage sixth. As the field stretched out, McDowell was shuffled back into the top-20. McDowell never gave up and crossed the start/finish line 16th.
Todd Gilliland, Driver No. 38 Frontline Enterprises Inc. Ford Mustang:
“Definitely not how we wanted the race to go, but this team never gave up. You’ll have races like that. We just have to look past it, regroup, and get ready for Homestead.”
|Michael McDowell, Driver No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang:“The 34 team executed all race long, we just needed to find a bit more speed in the final stage to have had a shot at a top-15 or top-10. Still super proud of everyone’s efforts. Bring on Homestead!”|
|The team next races Sunday at the Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway. The race is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.|